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Sri Lanka rejects Chinese bid to build oil refinery

Sri Lanka has rejected a bid by a Chinese firm to build an oil refinery and sell fuel locally, over fears it would be a threat to domestic companies, Reuters reported. 

“The Chinese companies asked permission (to supply local markets), but we did not give them permission. We asked them to participate in tenders of local suppliers, if they want to sell locally,” government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne told Reuters.

China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corp, part of the state owned China National Petroleum Corp, together with Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group submitted the proposal to build the island's largest refinery near Hambantota port. 

Reuters reported, 

"Another government official, who didn’t want to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said Sri Lanka did not want to cede control of the local fuel market to Chinese firms."

“We have asked the Chinese firms to go for partnership with existing players if they want to sell their products in the local market,” the official was quoted by Reuters as saying. “We don’t want both our companies to suffer by letting another player in.”

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